The Anchor: 5 commandments for ad stardom

28 Mar,2012

By Amod Dani


Some say stars are born. Others believe they are created. In advertising, however, stars are a result of both. Beautifully blended in a pressure cooker environment of tight deadlines, a dash of revealing briefs and a spoonful of client feedback.


You must have it in you to become an Ad-guru, the zing, the X-factor, the mojo jojo. Call it what you may but this is the most important ingredient if you want to become an Advertising A-man.


So once you’ve got your core competency (ability to conjure up fantastic ideas) and remarkable talent in place, follow the 5 commandments to become the Rajnikanth of advertising.


And get ready to bask in the hot Goafest Sun, Don Draper style. Godspeed!


#1 ‘P’seudonym

What’s in a name, they ask? Everything. Take a look around at all the advertising biggies and you’ll see. The top guns have one thing in common: the letter ‘P’. According to Pandit Suryakumar, Onomsatics (the study of names) has played a significant role in determining the future of advertising in India. ‘P’ stands for Precision, Persistence, Perseverance, Positivity and above all Perfection. So ‘P’lease move over Ekta Kapoor, the days of ‘K’ are numbered. By the way how does ‘Pramod Dani’ sound? Naaah!


#2 A.K.A

Pops, Paddy, Balki, Aggie: A talent pool like that is truly unique. But what do all of them have in common? A nickname of course. Now that’s the second most important commandment.


An alias, a shorter name or a unique nickname will truly put you in good stead for advertising stardom. But stay away from the names that your mother, grandmother and thousands of your relatives call you. Shontu, Monty, Bunty, Baby, Chotu, Bubbles, Pingoo and Vishambhar are not your ideal aliases. And yeah, do check for patents before you sign up for one.


#3 Be the cover page

Making a fashion statement plays a vital role in becoming an ad-star. So whether it is wearing all black or donning the latest top-hat, let your style be as unique as your work. Douse yourself into the pages of GQ or pester the daylights of your local darzi and dig out a style that defines you. From variations of facial hair to plain white shirts, from baldness to the badhti ka naam daadi look: ensure that you are a not just an ad-icon but also a style icon. Let caricature artists have a field day.


#4 Bollywood, thy middle name

Become a name frequented by the Khans and the Kapoors. Keep your feet on two rocks, one firmly placed in the ad-world, the other, nimble-footed, in B-town. Be associated with Bollywood in some way or the other. Music, Direction, Script writing, Screenplay, DOP, Spot, who cares, just make sure you are around a damn set. Flop movies or not, you being a part of Bollywood comes with a big plus: Dropping names!


#5 Have your own Mnemonic

Like the big brands they create, all the ad-biggies have their own unique Mnemonic. A brand property that is unique to their own personalities. From an exaggerated laughter to a short temper, from poignant hand gestures to exquisite catch phrases that remind you of your mother and sister, figure out what’s your Mnemonic.


However this commandment comes with a big caution. At times, your Mnemonic might not be the one you’d really want as an Ad-star. So the next time you scratch your behind, burp vociferously or drive your finger into those nasal corridors, be careful, the peering eyes might just make that your Mnemonic. And not a pleasant one to say the least.


And if the 5 commandments don’t help you become a star, then Sorry Mate. Kind of like my Pre-Happy April fool’s day. Not like you didn’t see it coming. As for all us mere mortals, it is back to the tried-and-tested mantra of simple hard work and passion. That’s how Piyush did it, that’s how Balki did it, that’s how Aggie did it and that’s how we must to do it.


To be a star or not, well, only our stars will tell.


Amod Dani is ECD, Leo Burnett.

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One response to “The Anchor: 5 commandments for ad stardom”

  1. Robert Barrows says:

    I see your five Commandments of Advertising and I raise you five. Here is a link to the Five Commandments of Advertising according to R.M. Barrows. The first four apply to any business. The fifth can help businesses of all kinds make a lot more money. Here is the link: